In 2013, Trafford Housing Trust was awarded funding by the Homes and Communities Agency to build 80 Extra Care apartments in the Old Trafford area. Working in collaboration with Trafford Council, the Trust took the opportunity to redevelop the Old Community Centre also known as The Library on Shrewsbury Street.
The new Limelight development was designed in two phases; the first phase was to demolish the community centre and to re-site St Brides Church to an empty plot of land on St Brides Way. The Church was completed in 2016 and was officially opened on Mother’s Day 2016.
The second phase was to design and build the new centre in collaboration with the Old Trafford community. A co-production approach involved the community in the planning process through events and street based research. Design Action Groups were also set up and provided an opportunity for Old Trafford residents to shape aspects of the Limelight offer. From the design of the building and the services available to the way in which Limelight would be governed. Work on the building finally started in 2016 and Trafford Housing Trust took posession on 18th September 2017.
We welcomed the public for the first time at our soft launch on October 2nd, providing an opportunity for the public to help us test the building before our official launch on 7th December 2017. Our launch event really was a day for the whole community and ended with a formal presentation by our Chair and Chief Executive. Diane Modahl and Lemn Sissay provided inspirational words and launched Limelight in style.
Trafford Housing Trust recognised the importance of engaging the community from the very beginning. A co-production approach was used to involve the community in the planning process through events, street based research and speaking to residents.
Further opportunities for the community to be involved in the decision making process were provided through Design Action Groups, which were set up to monitor, evaluate and make recommendations in the following areas of the new Limelight development: Governance, Social Impact and Added Value, Interior and Landscaping, and Extra Care.
This was just the beginning of the journey. Limelight and the services it provides will change as the community changes and as they continue to develop Limelight’s role in the Old Trafford community.